The 1st of September marked my 25th anniversary at Hutz and I thought what better time than this to reflect.

I signed an initial two year contract for an Austrian lighting company based in Johannesburg, immigrated to South Africa in 1984 and after 10 years’ service, I became rather disillusioned as I could not see myself “making a difference” or having an influence over the actual outcome. The “fun” was gone and it was time for a change.

At the time a friend representing Hutz Lighting Technique asked me if I would be interested to meet the owner of Hutz in Port Elizabeth.

My reply was that it sounded good, but where was Port Elizabeth again? The day I went to see the factory and meet Mr Hutz, the man behind it, I could see myself making a difference.

Our budget was shoestring, the facility was anything but conducive to the manufacturing of products, or anything I was used to, but the product’s quality, workmanship and material was never allowed to be anything less than perfect.

Continuous improvement was very much the at the heart of the operation and I felt excited to take on this new challenge and work together with this great man and mentor, Mr Hutz.

Now, 25 years later, Hutz has more than 80 employees. In 1999 we moved to our own premises with a floorspace of 6538m². We have a range of more than 160 product variants, have completed more than 6000 projects, are ISO13485 certified and carry the SAHPRA license. We have representation in various African countries and this, combined with Julian Hutz based in France, sees new markets opening in Africa and abroad.

At the ripe age of 81, Mr Hutz officially retired this year. I still see him every week to update him on the latest happenings within the company and we reminisce about the early days while discussing the future of the company and then he reminds me:

You must have fun if you want to start a business!

In these uncertain times it would be great to see what the next 25 years have in store for our company, but one thing is for sure, the legacy and vision of Mr Hutz will continue for years to come!